Here’s my Saturday night:
Sitting downstairs with my laptop, remote and 1,529 Comcast Digital Cable channels, I found myself drawn to two different shows that were on simultaneously. One was Game 6 of the ALCS where the Red Sox bludgeoned the Cleveland Indians thanks in part to a pair of players that were once tied to the Phillies. One, of course, was the pitcher Curt Schilling, who came up big in another huge game. The other was J.D. Drew, whose first-inning grand slam pretty much ensured that there was going to be a Game 7 on Sunday night.
As the rout carried on into the middle innings I flipped to the epic movie, Fight Club where I found myself riveted to that scene where Ed Norton pummels the holy living hell out of Jared Leto in a hard, spare concrete basement. Folks who have seen the film agree that it’s a pretty ridiculous scene. It’s where Norton as Tyler Durden beats Leto, a soldier to the “movement,” with an unbridled rage and fury that leaves the onlookers to ponder the meaning of the beating. With Leto prone and Norton forcing his knees onto his chest to gain leverage in order to rain blows onto his face well past the breaking point, the camera switches to Brad Pitt, Norton’s alter ego, who simply shakes his head with disgust at the sight of Norton's handiwork.
Clearly Norton/Durden didn’t "get it" at all, Pitt/Durden implied.
Nevertheless, Leto returned to the so-called “Project Mayhem” undeterred. With his face grotesquely swollen and most of his teeth scattered back on that basement floor, Leto’s character chastises Norton in a later scene for not sticking with the Nietzsche/Robin Hood principles of Project Mayhem. The message seems to be that Leto is clearly a "believer" who realizes that everyone has to take a beating every once in a while. Norton, on the other hand, is conflicted about his role as leader of a “guerrilla terrorist of the service industry.”
So as I’m flipping back and forth between the two beatings I was trying to figure out if I could apply the scene in Fight Club to either the Red Sox or Indians. Are the Red Sox like Leto in that they remained resolute in achieving the goals of Project Mayhem despite the beatings in three straight games that left them on the brink of elimination?
Or are the Sox more like Norton, who in the end of the movie has to destroy his alter ego in order to (re)gain control of himself?
Quickly I realized that my inner dialogue was just talking bleep. I was just looking to spice up a Saturday night spent in front of a laptop and TV.
Yes, it was all a stretch. The Red Sox and Indians is just another baseball series that will come down to one, final Game 7 tonight. Fight Club is nothing more than a movie based on a novel that, according to the author Chuck Palahniuk, is about “a lonely person looking for some way to connect with other people.”
I suppose that’s one way to look at it. I also suppose that when it comes down to it I was looking for some way to make the ALCS meaningful and relate it to the esoteric – yet mainstream – pop culture.
And I failed. It just doesn’t work.
Be that as it may, it should be interesting to see the Red Sox Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch in Game 7. Remember when he first arrived in the U.S. last spring? Remember how he was supposed to be the second-coming of Walter Johnson because he could pitch 900 innings a season and throw 300 pitches a game with his wacky, gravity-defying “GiroBall?”
Yeah, well, Matsuzaka went 15-12 with a 4.40 ERA in 32 starts in 2007 for the Red Sox. From a statistical standpoint, Matsuzaka is less like Walter Johnson and more like Paul Byrd but with more whiffs per nine innings.
Speaking of Paul Byrd…